Essay on Adoption of New Technology Systems in Healthcare
Many healthcare systems across the globe are undergoing a transition from the paper record systems to Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The adoption of the systems is associated with many merits, including the reduction of costs, increasing legibility as well as the quality of services being provided. The constant evolution of the healthcare system is powered by the fact that resources are limited in most cases, the need for quality care as well as financial constraints.
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The EHR systems have palpable effects of improving the quality of services being offered in healthcare institutions (Gesulga, Berjame, Moquiala, & Galido, 2017). A variety of factors need to be put into consideration when implementing EHR systems within healthcare institutions. Since nurses form the largest group of healthcare professionals and hence the biggest user of technology, there should be a specific strategy to be applied to engage them in the adoption and implementation of new technology systems (Jawhari et al., 2016).
According to Rogers (2003), there are attributes or qualities that can help reduce resistance to the adoption of any new innovation. The first quality is the relative advantage of the innovation which is termed as the extent to which the innovation supersedes the original idea or methods. The second quality is compatibility which is described as the consistency of the innovation with the existing needs, experiences, and values. The third quality is the complexity which is described as the extent to which the innovation can be viewed as difficult to use or understand. The fourth quality is trialability which is the capacity of a new innovation to experiment within a limited time. The fifth quality is an observability which describes the extent to which the outcomes of the innovation can be seen by others. The 5 qualities are fundamental to the preparation of nurses for the implementation of new technology in the workplace.
The way the new technology is presented to the nurses is very essential in determining the success of adoption. The five qualities outlined by Rodgers will be fundamental in preparing nurses to embrace the new technology. The nurses need to be enlightened by being taught on the new innovation to help them gain interest in the adoption. For the adopters, there will be clear and concise ways in which the EHRs system will help the nurses being discussed. In addition, the communication channels need to be discussed, especially how the system will help the nurses discuss treatment options with the doctors (McGonigle, & Mastrian, 2018). On the other hand, time is an important consideration to put into consideration as the system should help the nurse act in time in the provision of services as per the instructions. Moreover, the social system should be considered to help with communication and treatment.
The diffusion of innovation theory by Rogers explains the steps that a new innovation can follow to reduce the probability of resistance among nurses. According to the theory, a series of 5 steps can be adopted to help in the adoption of any new technology. The initial step is termed as knowledge whereby the nurses will be taught or made aware of the existence of new innovation and they will make steps to acquire more knowledge regarding the innovation. This includes organizing continuous medical education seminars to educate them on the existence of the technology. The second step is persuasion which involves shaping of the nurses’ attitude after they have known the existence of the technology to facilitate its adoption. The process can be affected by using people from institutions that utilize the technology to speak to the nurses highlighting the benefits that accrue to the use of the technology. The third step is decision whereby the nurses will choose to either reject or adopt the innovation. In this case, voting can be done to determine whether the technology can be implemented or not. The fourth stage is characterized by implementation whereby the new innovation is experimented or put into practice. It can involve using a pilot project with a few departments within the healthcare institution. The fifth stage is marked by confirmation where the nurses will look to support the decision already made. This can be supported by the provision of more information regarding the implementation and use of technology. Following the five outlined steps approach, it would make it easier for nurses and healthcare institutions to adopt the new technology.
Improving computer and human interaction will decrease resistance and provide a smooth transition during the adoption process. According to Ngafeeson & Midha (2014), Resistance to technological advancements is often perceived as detrimental to any given organization. In this case, I would deal with resistance by dividing nurses into groups based on their departments and then introducing them to the EHR system based on the needs of the departments they serve. Nurses often play a critical role as change agents in the implementation of new technologies in hospitals (Boswell, 2011). The nurses facilitate diffusion of technology as the majority of healthcare professionals in many institutions. They also develop evidence-based literature based on the outcomes of implementing the technology.
Adoption of new technologies in the health care systems has been met with constant resistance that derails their implementation. Nurses form the greatest resistance since they are the majority of healthcare providers. Most of the resistance emanates from the lack of technical know-how and the fear of the unknown. However, if appropriate strategies are put in place, technological advancements can be achieved with minimal resistance.
Boswell, R. A. (2011). A physician group’s movement toward electronic health records: A case study using the transtheoretical model for organizational change. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 63(2), 138-148. doi:10.1037/a0024319
Gesulga, J. M., Berjame, A., Moquiala, K. S., & Galido, A. (2017). Barriers to Electronic Health Record System Implementation and Information Systems Resources: A Structured Review. Procedia Computer Science, 124, 544-551. doi:10.1016/j.procs.2017.12.188
Jawhari, B., Keenan, L., Zakus, D., Ludwick, D., Isaac, A., Saleh, A., & Hayward, R. (2016). Barriers and facilitators to Electronic Medical Record (EMR) use in an urban slum. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 94, 246-254. doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2016.07.015
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge(4th ed.). Burlington, MA: .: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Ngafeeson, M. N., & Midha, V. (2014). An exploratory study of user resistance in healthcare IT. International Journal of Electronic Finance, 8(1), 74. doi:10.1504/ijef.2014.064003
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th Ed.).
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